Tuesday, September 16, 2014

9/16 General Body Meeting

Thank you all for coming to our first General Body meeting of the year tonight -- it was a full house! It was really great having representatives from other student groups attend as guest speakers, and tell us about law-related opportunities with their organizations. We hope you found the session helpful. Our next General Body meeting will be next month, on October 14th. Our guest speaker will be a law firm partner who focuses on corporate and securities law, and we'll be having a Q&A session as usual. It'll be fun -- and we can't wait to see you there!



9/16 General Body Meeting

We will be having our first General Body meeting at 8pm, Lerner 568 TONIGHT (Tues Sept 16th). We will be joined by Pre-Professional Advisor Cynthia Cogdill, as well as representatives from a number of other legally-minded campus organizations. Don't miss out on this great opportunity to network and hear insights on how to explore the legal field at Columbia and beyond! We look forward to seeing you there!


Friday, September 5, 2014

9/5 Activities Day and Information Session -- a massive success!

A massive THANK YOU to the 186 people who signed up for our List-Serv at Activities Day today, and for the ~50 people who attended our Information Session tonight. Today was a massive success, and we had so much fun meeting all of you!!


Thursday, September 4, 2014

[Free Pizza] Pre-Law Information Session **TOMORROW** Sept 5th


Want to learn about our club? Want FREE PIZZA? 

Come to the Pre-Law Society's Information Session 
TOMORROW, Friday 9/5, from 7-9pm 
at the Satow Conference Room in Lerner!



Sunday, August 31, 2014

9/5 NSOP Meet and Greet


We had a great time meeting the first-years at the NSOP Meet and Greet today!

Did you miss us today? Don't worry — we'll also be at Activities Day (12-4pm) and our Pre-Law Info Session (7pm) next Friday, September 5th!

Welcome, Class of 2018!

The Pre-Law Society will be at these NSOP events this Sunday and next Friday:
  • NSOP Meet and Greet (Aug 31: 2.30-3.30pm, Lerner Hall)
  • Activities Day (Sept 5: 12-4pm, College Walk)
  • Pre-Law Society Meet and Greet (Sept 5: After 7pm, location TBA)



We look forward to meeting you soon!


Saturday, August 30, 2014

Meet Our Board: Sahng-Ah Yoo, Co-President

Name, Hometown, Major:
Sahng-Ah Yoo
Milford, CT
Psychology | Pre-law

Current and Previous Roles on the Pre-Law Society Board:
I have the pleasure of serving as Co-President for the 2014-2015 school year. Previously, I was a general body member (’12-’13) and Pre-Professional Officer (’13-’14).

What are some of your "career highlights" and/or professional goals?
My interest in law slowly developed from my initial involvement and concerns with women’s rights. Looking back, a huge turning point was when I read Half the Sky by Nicholas Kristoff and Sheryl WuDunn in high school. I became aware of sex trafficking, poverty, and truly inhumane deaths of women around the world and understood how abysmal education, healthcare and human rights protection have been in developing countries. But I also recognized and emphasize that this is a continuing issue in “developed countries” as well. 

Inspired, I got involved with women’s rights issues whenever I could – attending UN Millennium conferences, supporting national women’s rights initiatives, and creating a National Organization for Women chapter in my freshman year at college. Through these various activities, I realized that change should be made not only by direct service to individual sex-trafficked and abused women but also by systematic changes in this nation’s fundamental institutions. That is a part of the reason why, in more recent years, I have aspired to work in the legal and the judicial systems, specifically those of the public sector. I believe that the law remains the fundamental basis of our society both as a representative of our society’s ideals and as a precedent for future progress and societal maturity. 

This new-found interest in law led me to an internship with an immigration attorney at her law office, dealing with refugees and undocumented immigrants, especially related to students in higher education, culminating in a paper focused on translating the legal terminology to a more accessible language for college administrators and faculty and pushing them to use their voice to push for a more equal society. 

Recently, I completed an internship with the New York Civil Liberties Union as a Solomon and Seymour Fisher Fellow that gave me closer look and better appreciation for the kinds of issues and number of people it takes to keep non-profit human rights watchdog organizations alive and pertinent. All of their work was inspiring, but I found the criminal justice system problems to be the most fascinating and urgent – just think of the Orange is the New Black campaign, upcoming Hurrell-Harring case, and recent tragic police-shooting incidents and I’m sure you’ll understand why.

As a senior at Columbia University studying in the Psychology Honors Research Program and in the Pre-law Program, I am interested in promoting human rights through the justice system while understanding the psyche of our society and the underlying reasons for inhumane actions through psychology. 

Do you have any advice for other pre-law students at Columbia?
As strange as this may sound, I would advise incoming pre-law students to really just avoid over-focusing on law school and to focus on finding out what you enjoy doing, instead. Don’t think about law school – other than, perhaps, the LSAT. Rather, really spend the first couple years at Columbia taking intro courses for every major and after choosing one, really delving into it. I say this for two reasons:

1. Law schools, unlike med schools, don’t ask you to take certain courses and thus, the majors that are open to you are endless. Law schools are more interested in your academic prowess and ability to excel in a certain field so it’s important that you find something that is, if not a passion of yours, is at least something you can enjoy studying in depth.

2. As you develop your interests in a field, you may find that law school actually isn’t as appealing as grad school or another field of work. And this realization is more important that preparing for law school. Law school is a heavy investment, considering the amount of time, effort, and money that goes into it. Having a BA in something you were deeply invested in will help you no matter what you end up doing.

What's a fun fact about yourself?
I say this in every class the teacher makes us go around the table to introduce ourselves, so I’m not sure how “fun” this is anymore but my name means “Elephant Child.” 

There is a back story. If you’re interested, come find me at one of our Pre-law events!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Meet Our Board: Genevieve Antono, Co-President

Name and Hometown:
Genevieve Antono
Singapore/Hong Kong
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Current and Previous Roles on the Pre-Law Society Board:
I am currently Co-President of the 2014-2015 Board, and was Vice-President/Recruitment Manager last year.

What are some of your “career highlights” and/or professional goals?
This summer (2014), I worked as a Graduate Recruitment intern at the Hong Kong office of Clifford Chance LLP, a leading "magic circle" international law firm. There, I assisted the Human Resources department with its summer vacation scheme for law students — this was a very unique and exciting position for an undergrad to be in, to have the opportunity to observe interviews and assessments at a "big law firm" and see what goes on behind the scenes at HR.

I've also completed an internship with the Office of Public Affairs at the New York State Unified Court System. That experience provided me with wonderful mentors, and the invaluable opportunity to observe and conduct informational interviews with New York City judges and their clerks.

And, last summer (2013), I worked at the Morningside Center for Teaching Social Responsibility, an incredible not-for-profit that emphasizes conflict resolution, mediation and restorative (as opposed to punitive) approaches in schools. My time with the Morningside Center was incredibly transformative, and my summer with them definitely informed how I view issues of justice and public education.

Do you have any advice for other Pre-Law students at Columbia?
I believe in, as far as possible, doing undergraduate internships and gaining work experience across a range of legal environments: the courts, DA's offices, law firms, public interest organizations, and so on. The main point isn't to bolster your CV or law school application, but to help clarify your own interests.

For example, I initially didn’t think that I would ever be interested in corporate practice, but something definitely "clicked" during my summer at Clifford Chance. There, I got to learn about the firm's main practice areas, as well as meet dedicated, driven lawyers who were genuinely interested in their work. 

My interest in commercial law, then, has gone from a "no" to a "hey, this is actually quite interesting" — I'd never have known this about myself had I not decided to spend this summer at this firm.

So, definitely, do internships to find out what areas of law you might like, what you don't, and if you even want to be a lawyer (or like hanging out with them!) Law school's too expensive of an investment to jump into without some due diligence.

However, my best and most important piece of advice is... Join the Pre-Law Society! Join our List Serv, come to our meetings, attend our events and run for elections. After all, half the fun of being "pre-law" and exploring this career path is doing it with a group of fun, like-minded friends!

What’s a fun fact about yourself?
I have the magical ability to make entire pints of ice cream disappear. Especially Pineapple Coconut ice cream. Mmmmm...

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Meet Our Board: Korey Petgrave, Events Chair

Name, Hometown, Major:
Korey Petgrave
Newark, NJ
Mechanical Engineering
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Current and Previous Roles on the Pre-Law Society Board:
As a first year, I was selected to be the Academic Affairs Coordinator.  In this position, I had the responsibilities of coordinating LSAT prep sessions and inviting distinguished speakers to our meetings.  Now, as a sophomore, I am proud to be serving as the Society’s Events Chair where my main responsibilities will be to organize and plan all events we will hold this upcoming academic year.

What are some of your “career highlights” and/or professional goals?
The area of law that interests me most is intellectual property.  Whether you are texting on your new Samsung S5 or searching Google on your Apple MacBook, you are interacting with products protected by patents and copyright laws.  Intellectual Property law offers me the perfect outlet to combine my interest for law and technology into one, and I hope to someday work as an Intellectual Property Attorney.

Do you have any advice for other Pre-Law students at Columbia?
Get involved with the Columbia Pre-Law Society and take advantage of having   Columbia Law School across the street.

What’s a fun fact about yourself?
My favorite thing for breakfast is a Jamaican dish known as ackee and saltfish with breadfruit (if you’ve never heard of it, look it up; if you have, make me a plate!)

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Meet Our Board: Antonia Miller, Academic Affairs Partner


Name, Hometown, Major:
Antonia Miller
Paris, France
Political Science | Human Rights Studies
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Current and Previous Roles on the Pre-Law Society Board:
I started out as a Pre-Professional Partner in the 2013 - 2014 year. The group's eye-opening events and a newfound interest in law following a successful summer internship motivated me to apply for the board in order to take part. This year, I look forward to serving as Academic Affairs Partner and taking on a new role in the Pre-Law Society.

What are some of your "career highlights" and/or professional goals?
As a Political Science major I started out with a particular interest in global issue and international relations. The more I delved into course in Human Rights Studies, I began to realize my interest in law. Last summer I had the opportunity to intern for the General Counsel at the Office of the Manhattan Borough President, where I assisted law students with their work regarding immigrant rights in New York City. Last fall semester I also interned at the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU Law School, which was an equally valuable and interesting experience and I learned a lot about the rights cases the Center does research on. This summer I worked at a boutique law firm where I gained tremendous experience drafting legal documents and much experience attending courts, depositions, consultations and more.

Do you have any advice for other Pre-Law students at Columbia?
I would tell other pre-law students not to worry too much about finding a perfect formula for undergrad that will get you into law school. The beauty of this track is that you have the freedom to pursue the courses you want and I think everyone should take advantage of that, especially if it means that you'll do better in your classes. I love Political Science, but I would never have forced myself to take it just because I'm pre-law if I didn't like it. Be you and you'll do well!
What's a fun fact about yourself
 I'm a twin! (And no we don't look alike, and we don't have telepathic powers).

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Meet Our Board: Eileen Wong, Pre-Professional Partner

Name, Hometown, Major:
Eileen Wong
Vancouver, Canada 
Political Science | Business Management
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Current and Previous Roles on the Pre-Law Society Board:
This year, I am the Partner of the Pre-Professional Committee on the Pre-Law Society Board. Last year, I was a General Body Member. I am so excited about this upcoming year, and we have a lot of great events and panels planned!
What are some of your "career highlights" and/or professional goals?
I only started to become interested in law the summer before my freshman year at Columbia. I decided to try it out, and I interned at a law firm specializing in real estate and fraud litigation, and also a Canadian immigration law firm. This summer, I interned with the Children’s Defense Fund in their Juvenile Justice and Education Justice sectors, and I also interned with a Judge in the Queens Criminal Courts. I also worked abroad this summer in a teaching fellowship in Hong Kong and Shanghai. I am unsure what field of law I will want to specialize in, but there’s tons of time to figure it out! Feel free to reach out to me if you’d like to know more or if you have any questions! 

Do you have any advice for other Pre-Law students at Columbia?
Go out and experience different fields of law first-hand!
What's a fun fact about you?
My favorite animals are cats, turtles, and giraffes! Talk with me about animals any day!  

Monday, July 7, 2014

Meet Our Board: Ben Eversole, Academic Affairs Partner

Name, Hometown, Major:
Ben Eversole
Castro Valley, CA
Political Science Business Management

Current and Previous Roles on the Pre-Law Society Board:
In my first year on the board of the Columbia Pre-Law Society, I am serving as a partner on the Academic Affairs committee.  I work to connect students to law professors, alumni, and LSAT prep companies. 

What are some of your "career highlights" and/or professional goals?
In the summer of 2012, I worked on Jennifer Ong’s campaign for state assembly in California, then studied German in Berlin for one month.  My experience with law includes working in the offices of James J. Phillips on trust and probate law.  This past summer I worked in the local offices of Congressman Eric Swalwell (D- Calif.).  After law school, I hope to work in government and advocate progressive policies. 

Do you have any advice for other Pre-Law students at Columbia?
Get involved early!  I wish I had attended more Pre-Law events in my first two years at Columbia.  Even if you are not sure whether you want to attend law school, the events are interesting and could help you determine whether law school is right for you.  I strongly recommend taking President Bollinger’s Free Press and Speech class to get a feel for a law school course, an understanding of the First Amendment, and a chance to get to know the University’s president!

What's a fun fact about you?
As a Boy Scout growing up, I led a twelve day backpacking trek at Philmont Scout Ranch in the New Mexico mountains.  While there, we got to build and shoot our own .30-06 ammunition.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Meet Our Board: Daniel Omachonu, Events Partner

Name, Hometown, Major:
Daniel Omachonu
Miami, FL
Political Science

Current and Previous Roles on the Pre-Law Society Board:
I was a General Body member in the 2012-2013 academic year. I remember attending events like the Judge panel and the LSAT information session. I quickly realized the value and potential influence of this group and I wanted to be a part of it. This year, I applied to the board for the position of Events Partner. I hope to help develop inspiring events that help people understand and grow to love the field of law

What are some of your "career highlights" and/or professional goals?
As an elementary school student, I remember struggling to decide what I would write on a wooden chest for a future goals assignment. On one side, I wrote first black president of the United States. There goes that. On the other side, I wrote criminal defense attorney. I have had interest in both law and politics since I was in the fourth grade. I acted out my interest in politics in my involvement in student government. One of my highlights in this realm came when I acted as the student body president of my high school during my senior year. I learned important lessons of leadership through that experience. Last summer, I had the pleasure of shadow-interning a Judge in the 11th Circuit in Miami, FL as well as interning in the Office of the Mayor of Miami-Dade County. This summer, I have been blessed with the opportunity to work as an intern at Gershburg Law P.C. As a small law firm started by one young attorney named Daniel Gershburg, the firm and this experience reflects one of my professional goals which is to one day start my own law firm in the New York City or Washington D.C. area.

Do you have any advice for other Pre-Law students at Columbia?
For students who know that they are pre-law at Columbia, I would say to learn as much information as you can on your own time pertaining tolaw. Columbia does not offer an official pre-law major but there are so many courses that take you through a slew of court cases as well as other legal material. I would also recommend seeking out mentors who are in law school or who are practicing attorneys because they can relate to you as they are farther along the path you wish to take. Lastly, I would say the obvious, which is to come to any and all events promoted by the Pre-Law society at Columbia University.

What's a fun fact about you?
I am from Miami but the Miami Heat are my second favorite basketball team. The Lakers are first.

Meet Our Board: Megan Kincaid, Secretary | Academic Affairs Chair

Name, Hometown, Major:
Megan Kincaid
Los Angeles, CA
Political Science

Current and Previous Roles on the Pre-Law Society Board:
I joined the Pre-Law General Body in the spring of my Freshman year. After getting to know fellow classmates involved in the Pre-Law Society, I decided that I would apply for positions on the Board in the spring of 2014. I am now the Secretary. My responsibilities range from organizing meeting minutes and making materials accessible to other members to sending out Listserv emails to the general body to keep them in the loop. I am also the Academic Affairs Chair and look forward to providing academic related services to the members of the Pre-Law Society. I hope to engage a large number of law minded students in building a Pre-Law community on the Columbia campus!

What are some of your “career highlights” and/or professional goals?
As a rising sophomore, I have yet to declare my major but plan on being a Political Science major. This summer I will be working at Columbia University with the Summer Sessions Office, creating a safe and fun community for students enrolled in the session. I hope to TA a Constitutional Law course as part of my responsibilities with the program. During high school, I shadowed a Los Angeles Public Defender over summer breaks. It was incredibly rewarding to be immersed in a courtroom experience and help the PD with file organization and research. I was fortunate enough to attend some private sessions with clients and family members. In the future, I hope to intern in a corporate law setting to get experience in another area of the law.

Do you have any advice for other Pre-Law students at Columbia?
Always feel free to contact upperclassmen with your same major or career goals for advice. We love to give support to incoming students and hope that our advice helps in some way. I’d also say that joining networks for Pre-Law students is really important since we aren’t necessarily taking the same classes.

What’s a fun fact about you?
The first time I visited the Columbia campus, all I did was peep inside John Jay, which would turn out to be my freshman dorm. I didn't even realize it until a déjà-vu moment on move-in day!

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Meet Our Board: Christopher Proctor, Pre-Professional Chair

Name, Hometown, Major:
Christopher Proctor
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Political Science | Psychology

Current and Previous Roles on the Pre-Law Society Board:
I started out as a General Body member in the 2011-2012 academic year. All the meetings I have attended since then were led by enthusiastic Board members who were very welcoming. A large reason I am now pursuing a career in Law is because of meetings held by the Pre-Law Society. This year, I look forward to serving as the Pre-Professional Chair. I will be reaching out to various law firms and legal institutions on behalf of the Columbia Pre-Law Society.  I am excited to work with both professionals outside of our university as well as fellow undergraduate students.

What are some of your "career highlights" and/or professional goals?
As a Political Science major, I have pursued both government related and legal positions. Last summer I worked with a successful City Council Campaign, where I got to see the various aspects of campaigning and city politics. This summer, I will be working with the U.S Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York. I am excited to work with dedicated lawyers and paralegals that represent one of the most respected public sector organizations in the country. I also plan to work with the New York State Attorney General’s Office this coming fall.

Do you have any advice for other pre-law students at Columbia?
I would really advise students to get involved with the Pre-Law Society. I can personally attest to being lost when it came to choosing a major and a career path when I started college. The Pre-Law Society offers an opportunity to get a feel for the field of law, as well as help all incoming students form meaningful friendships with Board members and fellow General Body members.

What's a fun fact about you?
Being from Florida, I never saw snow until my first year at Columbia!

Introducing "Meet Our Board!"

Get to know the Columbia Pre-Law Society Board with our summer series "Meet Our Board," a platform for leaders in CU's Pre-Law community to share their insights on life, law, and everything in between. Each post will feature a brief interview with a Pre-Law Society Board member and will contain useful advice about navigating Columbia on a Pre-Law track. Stay tuned!  

Friday, April 25, 2014

4/25 Board Bonding Dinner

Thanks to a generous gift from Blueprint LSAT Prep, we had an incredible dinner tonight. Thank you!

Dinosaur Bar-B-Que MmmMmm...

Angela and Jane

Genevieve and Megan

Jaclyn and Sahng-Ah

Ryan, Ben and Antonia

Eileen and Megan

Kate and Jaclyn

Ben :)

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Hello From Your New Co-Presidents!

Dear Pre-law Society,

We hope everyone has been enjoying their weekend.

We are very honored to be elected as your co-presidents for the upcoming 2014-2015 school year and would like to begin by thanking Ryan Bae for all of his work during his tenure. We are grateful for his kind words and will work hard to not only maintain current programs, but to also improve upon them by catering to your needs.

On that note, as a heads up, we'd like to inform you of a couple changes that we hope will improve your experience as a member of the Pre-law Society:

(1) More General Body Meetings

First, we will be having more general-body meetings that will allow you to interact and network with each other, ask more questions, and listen to "mini-lectures" by special guests, law students, or fellow pre-law members. The first of these events will be on September 16, 2014.

(2) Opportunities for General Member Participation

Second, we are revamping our board structure to allow a select handful of motivated members to assist in the planning process for our various events, allowing you the special opportunity for an inside look at our board meetings and procedures as well as direct communication with our guest speakers and networks. So, keep an eye out for that starting next semester!

3) New Blog and Updated Facebook Page

We have also recently created a new Blog (columbiaprelaw.blogspot.com) and updated our facebook page (www.facebook.com/columbiaprelaw). So, in addition to being on our ListServ, you'll be able to keep track of our activities and upcoming events through these platforms.

As we mentioned, the reason for especially these first two changes and a few others is because the Pre-law Society is here for you. We want to hear what events you want to attend, what questions you want answered, and whom you want to meet. And we will do our very best to accommodate. So, please feel free to e-mail either one of us with any questions, concerns, or comments you have and we will be sure to get back to you.

Best of luck as we approach Finals!

Best Regards,
Your Co-Presidents
Gennie and Sahng-Ah


---


If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us at:

Genevieve Antono '16 (ga2368 [at] columbia.edu) and Sahng-Ah Yoo '15 (sy2484 [at] columbia.edu)


Friday, April 18, 2014

Snapshot: 4/18 Supreme Court Visit

Photo Credit: Sahng-Ah Yoo

A quick picture taken in front of the Supreme Court at 60 Centre Street today. Thanks to everyone who came out! It was such an informative tour, giving us the opportunity to sit in on a current much-publicized jury trial and an in-depth tour of the building and jury process.